Although studies on the medical benefits of cannabis are slow to emerge in the US, with the continuous progress of marijuana legalization, more empirical evidence is being shared from the medical community to the general public. And according to findings published in this week’s edition of the journal Addiction, studies show the use of cannabis is associated with decreased consumption of alcohol among individuals looking for alcohol treatment.
According to the CDC, “Excessive alcohol use is responsible for about 95,000 deaths a year in the United States. Deaths due to excessive drinking account for 1 in 10 total deaths among working-age adults aged 20 to 64 years.” Medical professionals have been exploring the use of cannabis in alcohol-related medical issues, and have found many potential health benefits by investigating the use of medical marijuana.
The data was gathered by a team of researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University, and appearing in the peer-reviewed journal which has been published since 1884 by the Society for the Study of Addiction. Individuals were recruited from 2016 to 2020 from community and university settings in Denver and Boulder, resulting in 96 cannabis-using subjects studied in these analyses.
Researchers stated: “Across the sample, individuals drank approximately 29 percent fewer drinks and were 2.06 times less likely to have a binge-drinking episode on days that cannabis was used compared with days cannabis was not used. These patterns were observed in males, females and the infrequent and frequent cannabis use groups.”
Data from the study showed subjects’ alcohol intake drastically decreased when they reported using cannabis. This trend was consistent among those who used heavy amounts of cannabis as well as among those who used only light amounts of cannabis occasionally. Likewise, state data trends evidenced a decrease in alcohol sales in areas where marijuana legalization efforts had passed.
Although the current research is promising, it is imperative that US medicine begins to expand on the possibilities of cannabis-related health benefits. Stay tuned for the latest news as we navigate 2021 and our ever-changing political climate as it relates to the progress of medical marijuana.
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